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SeeAbility shortlisted for Charity Awards 2021

The charity has been shortlisted in the Healthcare and Medical Research category for its Children in Focus project

child wearing green glasses
The UK charity SeeAbility has been shortlisted for the Charity Awards 2021 in the Healthcare and Medical Research category.

The charity has been shortlisted for its Children in Focus project which has delivered sight tests and glasses to over 1500 children in special schools.

The project forms part of SeeAbility’s national public health programme to prevent and address sight loss in people with learning disabilities, who are more at risk of having a sight problem.

The charity explained that, in delivering over 3500 sight tests in special schools and dispensing over 1700 pairs of glasses between October 2013 and the end of summer 2019, the Children in Focus project helped prove to NHS England that “there was a huge unmet need for eye care amongst children with learning disabilities.”

The project helped to make the case for the NHS to commission and fund a new countrywide ‘one stop shop’ eye care service for special schools, SeeAbility said, and provided a template for the new NHS service which is being rolled out in England’s special schools.

SeeAbility suggested this move will bring early eye care to over 120,000 children most at risk of experiencing a sight problem: “overcoming the many inequalities, barriers and disjointed pathways they face in getting the eye care they need.”

Commenting on being shortlisted, Lisa Donaldson, SeeAbility’s head of eye health, said: “We are beaming about being shortlisted for the Healthcare and Medical Research category in the Charity Awards. I’m so proud of our team, who have worked so hard to deliver an equal right to sight for children in special schools, and of course we’re wishing good luck to all our fellow nominees too.”

The 27 charities shortlisted for the awards were judged by an independent panel of sector leaders. The winners will be announced during a live-streamed online awards ceremony on 10 June.

Congratulating the shortlisted charities, Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, who are behind the Charity Awards, said after postponing the 2020 awards: “Throughout the year we watched with dismay as the charity sector was buffeted by a triple-whammy of losing millions of pounds of fundraising income, being forced to re-engineer services to comply with lockdown and social distancing restrictions, and facing big spikes in demand for those services.

“But 12 months on, we are so impressed with how the sector has risen to the challenges and responded magnificently to the health, social care and economic crisis that COVID-19 has wrought,” Nolan added, explaining that the organisation has revived the 2020 awards, honouring the applications that were submitted.